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Levy approval would move community forward

4/18/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

My husband and I have been living in the Coventry Local School District since 1950. We are on a fixed income and live in a modest house in the community. Like most people, we do not want our property taxes to increase, but we realize the importance of a strong school system and the connection to property values.

Recently, a number of editorials criticizing the school district have been published in the local papers. It is easy to see how one can view the bond [issue]/[permanent improvement levy] being turned down again as having no meaningful consequences to the citizens of Coventry … I mean other than the kids, of course. The opponents of this issue want you to believe this issue is about open enrollment, method of construction, administrative pay or a variety of other excuses used to justify a no vote. The bottom line is this issue is about our children and our community and the willingness of our property owners to support the students in our school district and the opportunity to move our community forward.

The Coventry Schools are currently second from the bottom in per pupil funding and next year will fall to the bottom in the county due to $1.6 million in cuts to start the current school year. The district receives 56 percent of the total taxes that a resident pays, which is also second lowest in the county. Despite these difficulties, our schools continue to be rated Excellent With Distinction.

For the past 20 years, the district has relied on open enrollment to bring in additional funds, yet opponents want to attack the very system that lowers their per pupil expense. The fact is, according to the Ohio Department of Education, open enrollment is utilized in 77.44 percent of the school districts in Ohio. These districts do not participate in this program because it costs extra money. If open enrollment was a drain on districts, it would be one of the first areas cut. It always amazes me that the most brilliant minds in Ohio can’t figure out how to fund schools. However, a few individuals believe they can just add a few numbers, subtract a few more and the whole school funding issue is solved.

For the sake of our children and our school district, I urge you to support Issue No. 5 on the May 7 ballot.

Darlene Carris, Coventry

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